Friday, March 16, 2018

Week 11: Broccoli Fries

The Recipe
1 bundle of broccoli
Olive Oil

Remove the dry part of the stem, but leave the rest. Cut the broccoli into "fries" and lay out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with olive oil and salt.

Bake at 200C for 20-30 minutes. The tops should be fairly brown.

The Verdict
Super easy to make, and I really liked it! Definitely one of my favourite ways of making broccoli now :)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Week 10: Crispy Chicken Cordon Bleu

The Recipe
450g chicken breasts
Salt, pepper, Garlic powder, cayenne pepper
Cheese (I used cheddar, but I don't think it matters too much)
100g sliced ham
1 egg
Bread crumbs
Oil for cooking.

Creamy Dijon Sauce
2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1.5-2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1.5dl shredded Parmesan cheese

On a cutting board, place a chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound until about 1cm thick with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap and place a layer of ham and a layer of cheese. Wrap the chicken tightly in plastic wrap and twist the the wrap on the sides. Tie up the ends, and put the chicken in the fridge for 30 minutes to "set".

In three different plates put flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs and coat the chicken with each in turn.

Heat oil in a cast iron pan or wok until very hot. Cook chicken for about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and cook in oven for an additional 15-20 minutes until cooked through.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce by melting the butter in a small pot and cooking the garlic until soft. Add in flour and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Add milk and whisk until fully combined. Continue whisking until the sauce comes to a simmer. Add mustard, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Whisk to combine until all the cheese has melted and the sauce is nice and thick.

Serve chicken with baked potatoes and baked broccoli.

The Verdict
Both DH and I liked it well enough, but it's a LOT of work for something that's just liked "well enough", so I probably won't be making the chicken again... too much of a hassle for the output. I could very well see myself making the sauce again though - that one was really good!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Week 9: Sausage & Potato Bake

The Recipe
~300g sliced sausages
8 potatoes, quartered
2 bell peppers, diced
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper according to taste
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200C.

In an ovenproof dish, add potatoes, sausages and bell pepper. Cut the butter into small cubes and place on top. Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings.

The Verdict
Very easy, but also very boring. I think that was mostly due to the sausages though... I tried to get some more expensive ones in the hope that they'd be better, but honestly, plain hot dog sausages would probably have tasted better. It's a good "empty the fridge" dish, and DH liked it, so I'll probably make it again eventually.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Week 7: Creamy Pasta Casserole

The Recipe
250-300g penne pasta
~500g pasta sauce
1/2 dl cream
1dl parmesan cheese
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 dl pesto
1 large onion, sliced
~250g cherry tomatos
150g mozarella, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
basil leaves
250-300g chicken (or pork)

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package and preheat the oven to 180C.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet and cook chicken until brown - 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Add onion to the skillet and cook until softened slightly. Transfer to the ovenproof dish as well. Add tomatos, bell peper and mozarella.

In a bowl, mix together pasta sauce, cream, parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and pesto. Once the pasta is cooked, mix thoroughly with the sauce and transfer everything to the ovenproof dish. Mix everything up to ensure that not all the pasta is left on top.

Bake for 20 minutes. Add fresh basil leaves just before serving.

The Verdict
Really, really good! I used heavy cream which felt a tad decadent, but it was SO worth it. Definitely a restaurant-grade pasta dish.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Week 6: Crockpot Cashew Chicken

The Recipe
1lb chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp cornstarch or flour
½ tsp pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp ginger
a dash of red chili flakes
½ cup cashews

Combine cornstarch/flour and pepper in a bag. Add chicken and stir to cover all pieces. Heat the oil in a skillet and brown the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove and add to slow cooker.

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, chili, sugar, garlic, ginger and chili flakes. Pour over chicken and stir to ensure all pieces are nicely coated.

Cook on LOW for 3 hours. Add cashews and cook for another hour.

Serve with rice (either just regular boiled rice, or fried rice with a bit of the sauce added at the very end) and a nice salad. I made one out of bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots and feta - yum!

The Verdict
I served this with ordinary rice the first day and fried rice the next day as leftovers. Fried rice is definitely better! The salad meshed nicely with the dish as well - especially the feta.

As a whole, the recipe wasn't really groundbreaking, and definitely something I've tried before, but it was easy to make and tasted great (plus! cashews!!), so who cares? You don't have to be innovative all the time.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Week 5: Potato Quiche

The Recipe
2 large potatoes, sliced thinly
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tbsp parmesan
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 large tomato, diced
½ bell pepper, diced
1-2 green onions, diced
125-150g bacon
½ cup shredded cheese
1 tsp garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Put the sliced potatoes in a bowl and add olive oil, salt, half the pepper and the parmesan cheese. Mix it all together (using your hands is easiest) to coat the potato slices evenly. Lay out the slices in a pie dish, starting from the middle and working out, making sure the slices overlap and that there are no gaps. line the edge of the dish with overlapping slices as well.

Bake the potatoes for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a pan until just crisp. Transfer to a bowl (I just used the same one as before to save on dish washing :-P ) and mix together with the eggs, milk, green onions, bell pepper, tomatoes and cheese. Add the rest of the pepper and the garlic powder.

Slowly pour the mixture over the potatoes, making sure they don't start to life up. Bake for 30 minutes - leave to rest for another 5-10 minutes before serving.

The Verdict
Really good! I like alternative uses of potatoes, and this was a great addition to my repertoire. Definitely something I'll be making again, and it's so easily adaptable too - just the way I like it.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Week 4: Loaded Potato Salad

The Recipe
750gr potatoes, in ~½cm slices
Salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
125gr bacon
2-3 diced potatoes
4-6 cups sliced lettuce
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 avocado, cubed

Cook the bacon until crispy and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the potato slices on a greased baking sheet, spray with oil, season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and bake until slightly golden - about 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool.

Toss the salad and serve with dressing of your choice.

The Verdict
Unfortunately I added too much cayenne to the potatoes, so they had a bit too much of a bite and could've been more crispy. Other than that I really liked it though. It's a lot of work, so I probably won't make it that often, but it's a nice alternative.